Testosterone was positively bouncing off the Commons rafters during yesterday's muscular exchanges at Prime Minister's Questions.
The issue of manliness was first raised by the butch Welshman Chris Bryant, who pointed out there were now nine Whitehall departments without a single woman minister.
To Labour titters, Mr B snipped: "Now I know the Prime Minister likes to think of himself as butch – he told us so last week – but what has the PM got against women?"
Butch Cameron rose to the despatch box but did not rise to the Labour bait. He made his own challenge to the manliness of Red Ed, urging him to stand up to those union dinosaurs and respond to their threat of a national strike by refusing their money. (Yeah, right).
The Labour chief refused to take the Tory bait and, flexing his biceps, sought to kick sand in the PM's face by pointing out how, on borrowing, he had actually increased the nation's debt by £9.3 billion in the first four months of this year.
Butch Cameron puffed out his chest and insisted he was not a wimp but had in fact cut the deficit by one-quarter, unlike the Labour weakling whose whole economic strategy was based on pumping up the borrowing bubble.
With Ed Balls, the professor of post- neo-classical endogenous growth theory, barking beside him, Red Ed flicked Butch Cameron's nose, noting how reports suggested the Coalition would not meet its debt reduction target by the end of the parliament. Was it true?
Intriguingly, the PM did not deny the charge but accused the Opposition of, for once, having a grand plan: "Predistribution".
As Butch Clegg and Butch Osborne chuckled in unison, Dave declared: "What that means is: You spend the money before you actually get it."
To Tory cheers, he added: "I think you'll find that's why we're in the mess we're in right now."
There were more cackles when Butch Cameron revealed the guru behind Labour's new idea of predistribution was one J Hacker, whose book was entitled The Road to Nowhere.
With Tory laughter ringing in his ears, Ed snorted: "Let me compliment him on such a butch answer." He then sought to embarrass the PM over his Cabinet reshuffle, mentioning Caroline Spelman, expelled for being too old at 54, but replaced by a man – who was older.
"Very butch, Mr Speaker," snapped the Labour chief.
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